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Ordo Missae of the 1962 Missale Romanum

How to Serve the Latin Mass

Correct Mass-Serving Made Easy

by Rev. H.E. Calnan, D.D.


Correct Mass-Serving Made Easy  Previous


The purpose of this small book is to promote faultless serving at Low Mass. Using this book, the average Catholic school-boy, and the diffident layman who has never served Mass before, should have no further difficulty.

In most parishes, a dozen influences combine to restrict the supply of efficient Mass servers. Layfolk must be asked to serve at short notice, or without warning. A woman with knowledge of Latin may venture, because she has only to answer and not to move about. The layman, unless accustomed, shrinks from the risk of making mistakes and being conspicuous. And that shrinking feeling appears sometimes to begin early in life. The writer has more than once met Catholic parents who have become suddenly ashamed and a little indignant, on realising (in public, as it usually happens) that sons educated at good Catholic Schools, are quite unable to serve Mass when called upon. (But the writer is aware of some of the difficulties, even in Catholic Schools)

This small book has been made to give the necessary confidence to anyone: first by the printing of the answers in special type which springs to the eye: secondly by that simple rule of pronouncing every vowel: a rule which is as sound as any such simplification can be, and has certainly proved amazingly successful in practice among those who had never read Latin before: and thirdly, by the completeness as well as the simplicity of the directions. The author has based these directions on the carefully controlled practice at St. John's Seminary, Wonersh, and the Venerable English College, Rome. He firmly trusts that those great institutions will have no cause to regret their mention here. And he has checked everything by Martinucci and by Menghini.

Above all, care has been taken to persuade the server that his work in serving Mass is his most profitable method of assisting at Mass, and of preparing for Holy Communion. The directions themselves have been phrased with the intention of prompting the thoughts which should keep the server spontaneously united with the Holy Sacrifice. When proficiency comes, he may decide for himself whether he can risk using his Missal without interfering with this most sacred work of actually serving the Mass.

The Thanksgiving after Holy Communion is a translation (fairly close) of that set out in the Catechism of Pius X for use in the Roman Diocese and Province. And that saintly Pope certainly understood small boys in their relation to the Holy Eucharist. It is probable, too, that these prayers will meet the needs of those adults who wisely prefer simplicity.

H.E.C.   14th August, 1936

N.B. This edition of How to Serve the Latin Mass (5th Edition by Widdowson's 1948), because it was published prior to 1962, may not entirely agree with the rubrics of the 1962 Missale  Romanum.
Ordo Missae - Order of Mass - 1962 Roman Missal